The DSK Rape Victim is Everything but a Victim, According to the Media

The media response to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape charges is predictably horrific. The salacious gossip can maintain itself for weeks: the victim lives in a complex for HIV-positive residents (no wait! She doesn’t); wears hijab; and is “pious and respectable.” No, you say, she’s not unattractive—she’s actually got great breasts?A full 57% of French citizens claim that Strauss-Kahn, who was set to unseat Sarkozy in the upcoming election, was set-up at his Sofitel Hotel. This, of course, is p … [Read more...]

Same-Sex Muslim Marriages Coming to Mosque Near You?

In the last few years, the international emphasis on locating social rights within the Qur’an has primarily been driven by and for women. NGOs in Morocco, Malaysia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Tunisia, and countless other Muslim countries have rallied communities, encouraging them to look critically at the patriarchal structures that have dictated Qur’anic interpretation to date. Through methods unlike those of western countries—methods that often include political embeddedness, the provision of social … [Read more...]

Masking the Problem: Afghanistan’s “Niqab” Program

Just when I thought we were past discussing the experiences of Muslim women in dichotomies and distorted imagery, CNN pulls out this gem about Afghanistan’s most talked-about talk show: “Niqab.” “The Mask,” as American media have translated it, features “Afghan women [who] dare to speak out on [the] taboo subject of abuse by husbands.” This time, the women televised are, in fact, masked—half the mask “pale blue, the color [of the burqa] symbolizing the oppression of women; the other half white, r … [Read more...]

Critical Mass of Badass: “Badass Muslimahs”

A recent addition to the thousands of Tumblrs intended mostly for the edification of their own creators, Badass Muslimahs began as a project in mid-October 2010. The site’s creator, Sara, has little besides a small blurb to describe her Tumblr’s purpose—but then, words are not really the currency of Tumblr. (Founded in 2007, the microblogging site has taken off since the beginning of 2009 and is now arguably the hottest and most accessible blogging portal available). “Badass Muslimahs,” as Sara e … [Read more...]

Guiding Blight: The Real Girl’s Guide to Everything

The Real Girl’s Guide to Everything Else, Strike.TV’s peppy new Web series, first struck me as ludicrous. Fast-paced and low-budget, it’s riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies, becoming more fantastical as the first season progresses. The writing lacks depth, the characters lack development, and the show’s thesis whacks you across the head with startling regularity. But the message itself is bold, sharp, and significant.Season One, consisting of six chapters less than ten minutes apiece … [Read more...]

Not Such a Small World, After All: Disney’s Latest Discrimination

In the latest hijab shake-down, Imane Boudlal was taken off the schedule as a hostess at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel because she insisted upon her right to wear hijab to work.Boudlal, a Moroccan-born Muslim woman, already wore the hijab at home, but said that she learned of her Constitutional right to wear it to work while studying for her U.S. citizenship exam a few months ago. In accordance with Disney’s notoriously stringent employee agreement, Boudlal asked her manager in June whether … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to Maureen Dowd

Dear Maureen,I hear you’re back from your jaunt over in Saudi Arabia. Kudos to you for making it back from that big, bad place. Somebody get this woman the gin and tonic she deserves!First, a secret: I am so tired of frothy, pop-culture media and art about the question of veiling. It’s really reached the point where whenever I hear about a story about the “Muslim world,” I feel premonitory exhaustion at the prospect of having to respond to its same tired clichés and unnecessary dichotom … [Read more...]